Summary: This is an introductory sermon to the subject of miracles dealing with two questions: what is a miracle? and where do miracles come from?
May 5, 2002 John 20:30-31
“It’s a miracle!”
One Saturday afternoon, a father and his six-year old son Mickey were fishing near a bridge when a woman lost control of her car, slid off the bridge and hit Mickey at a rate of about 50 mph. Sheriff Marr, the boys’ grandfather, had seen the results of accidents like this and feared the worst. When he got to Saint Joseph Hospital, he rushed through the emergency room to find Mickey conscious and in fairly good spirits considering what had happened to him.
"Mickey, what happened?" Sheriff Marr asked. Mickey replied, "Well, Gramps, I was fishin’ with Dad, and some lady runned me over, I flew into a mud puddle, and broke my fishin’ pole and I didn’t get to catch no fish!"
As it turned out, the impact propelled Mickey about 500 feet, over a few trees and an embankment and in the middle of a mud puddle. His only injuries were to his right femur bone which had broken in two places. Mickey had surgery to place pins in his leg. Otherwise the boy was fine. Since all the boy could talk about was that his fishing pole was broken, the Sheriff went out to Wal-mart and bought him a new one while he was in surgery so he could have it when he came out.
The next day the Sheriff sat with Mickey to keep him company in the hospital. Mickey was enjoying his new fishing pole and talked about when he could go fishing again as he cast into the trash can. When they were alone, Mickey, just a matter-of-fact, said, "Gramps, did you know Jesus is real?" "Well," the Sheriff replied, a little startled. "Yes, Jesus is real to all who believe in him and love him in their hearts." "No," said Mickey. "I mean Jesus is REALLY real." "What do you mean?" asked the Sheriff. "I know he’s real ’cause I saw him." Said Mickey, still casting into the trash can. "You did?" said the Sheriff. "Yep," said Mickey. "When that lady runned me over and broke my fishing pole, Jesus caught me in his arms and laid me down in the mud puddle."
This morning, we are going to begin what I believe is going to be an exciting time for us as a church. Over the next several weeks, we are going to examine the subject of miracles.
We here a lot about miracles. There are shows on TV that suppose to tell us about miracles. There’s “Miracle Pets” and “It’s a miracle” and “Touched by an Angel”. I remember one night during the 1976 Olympics how at the end of the ice hockey game between the Americans and the Russians, the announcer this question: “Do you believe in miracles?” because the Americans had just won. There are preachers who claim to be able to perform miracles and churches where miracles seem to abound. As a church, and as individuals, we need to be able to discern what is truth and what is fiction. We need to see what the Bible has to say about miracles so that we will not be fooled and also to make sure that we are not missing out on something that is available to us.
But there’s a more personal reason for us to examine miracles. All of us at one time or another either have or will come to a point in our lives when we need a miracle. Maybe it’s a miracle of physical healing that you need, but more often, it is a miracle for a change in your lives. It seems that no matter how hard you try and no matter how many self-help books you read, you never achieve the change that you want in your life. And it seems that no matter how loving you are and no matter how much you want it to happen, a person that you care so deeply about just will not change. You want them to change. You know that they need to change. But it looks like it’s going to take a miracle. I’ve got good news for you. God is still in the business of working miracles. He can make a miracle happen in your life this morning if you will let Him. Make sure that you are here each week of our study so that you will not miss anything.
1. What is a miracle? It is something…
amazing – I have set before you two plants. One is full of branches and flowers. The other is looking like most of the plants who have ever stayed in my house for long – weak, wilted and deficient. What is the difference in these two plants? One of them was fed Miracle Grow, and one was not. Actually, when I went to Walmart yesterday to buy these plants, I looked for one that looked really full and healthy, and I looked for another that looked kind of scrawny. But I’m trying to make a point here, so give me a little leaway this morning. You’ve probably all seen the commercials for “Miracle Grow” in which they compare plants who supposedly were fed different diets. You may have even seen the ads that talk about champion growers of fruits and vegetables in which they show pumpkins that weigh hundreds of pounds because of a steady diet of Miracle Grow. If the ads are true, and plants really do grow bigger and stronger with Miracle Grow, does that make it a miracle? No. It may be amazing. But it is no miracle. It is amazing that someone could climb to the top of Mt. Everest, but it is no miracle. A parking place that is closer than 5 rows back form Walmart would be pretty amazing and extremely rare, but it would be no miracle. It would be amazing if I could keep a plant alive for a whole year. But it would not be a miracle. Just because something is amazing does not make it a miracle. But all miracles are amazing.